Is my B12 level low/deficient??

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Not been well for about 2 years. 41 years old. Previously a pretty active person walking lots and attending gym classes.

Symptoms are;

- Extreme fatigue

- weakness (carrying bags now a struggle)

- breathlessness

- constipation

- Sensitivity to light and blurred vision (only appeared recently)

- depression/intolerance to smells/noise

Blood tests 2 years ago

Given iron tablets

These gave me gastric problems which the GP wouldn't listen to

Resulting in going private and being diagnosed with GRD and an ulcer due to this not being addressed

Now on Omaprasol for life sad

2 years later I'm still feeling the same (except I now have GRD as well)

GP referred me to a therapist for depression. Within 20 mins of talking to me she asked if I'd been tested for B12 deficiency.

Bloods show a B12 level of 102. My GP doesn't seem to think this is a problem. My therapist thinks it is!!

Waiting for a further docs appt next week for a second opinion.

I would greatly appreciate any help or advice. I need my life back....

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  • Posted

    Hi Melissa

    Have your doctors spoken to you about the long term effect of being on Omeprazole? This drug can cause b12 deficiency. It can also cause deficiencies of other vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D and iron. I'm not saying this has occurred in your case, but it is something to be aware of with this drug and to speak to your GP about. I wonder if your gut issue is the primary problem, as it sounds like you have a general malabsorption issue, rather than a primary b12 deficiency.

    Have you been tested for Helicobacter Pylori? With your history and the ulcer you have, this would definitely be worthwhile. Can you ask to be referred to a gastroenterologist? 

    Your b12 may well be causing some symptoms, including the low mood and eyesight issues, but you need to be asking why your b12 is low and getting to th root of it. 

    Best of luck, let us know how you get on. 

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    • Posted

      I've been on a low dose of antidepressants for a number of years having had an anxiety disorder in my early 20s. I always became irritable when trying to come off them so was advised to continue and have been ok until about 2.5 years ago. I went to the doctors with tiredness, hair loss and hot sweats. I had a few lots of blood taken and was prescribed iron tablets for a slightly low iron deficiency. With these tablets I experienced awful stomach problems inc chest pain and breathlessness. I had never previously even had indigestion!! I went back to the doctors a number of times to always be told there was nothing wrong. I went to Bupa and an endoscopy confirmed gastric reflux disease, a hiatus hernia and an ulcer in my oesophagus. I am on 40mg of Omaprasol a day. So I was in exactly the same position but now with what appears to be a lifelong condition. Having had a bad winter feeling low, more recently I went back to the doctors with extreme tiredness as I was concerned that my i may fall asleep whilst driving. The doctor felt that it was depression and suggested a psychotherapist as I had never been to one before. Within 20 mins of talking to me the therapist asked if I'd ever been tested for B12 deficiency. I had blood taken and was told a had a B12 level of 102 and as a result if this I had further tests for folate and pernicious anaemia. I was told the latter was normal and the folate was borderline acceptable at 4.1. A doctor told me over the phone that there wasn't really an issue an that they would test me again in 3 months. Meanwhile I have been back to the gp to go through my bloods on more detail and she made it clear that she had 20 years of medical experience and that my b12 level is not concerning and is unlikely to be causing my symptoms. She advised me to get supplements and to continue with therapy but I'm reluctant to do this due to the conflicting information I am being given. Too tired to fight any more. I'm of the opinion that I'm only depressed because I feel like I can't do what I should be able to and don't feel like I have any support.

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    • Posted

      Melissa, this is so wrong, I feel very upset to hear that your doctor isn't taking this seriously. Have you considered contacting the Pernicious Anaemia Society as I suggested earlier? Even your therapist has realised this could be the root cause of your health problems.

      If B12 levels remain low for a long time serious nerve damage can occur. No wonder you feel tired and depressed, I felt like that until mine was treated. I'd decided I must have something terminal because I felt so bad.

      Please don't just give up, keep trying to get help, and try the PA Society. What about a second opinion from another doctor? 

      Wishing you well again

       Marion x

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    • Posted

      Your Proton Pump Inhibitors and antidepressants may both cause problems with absorption of Vitamin B12. So often medication can "cure" one malady and cause another.

      I suggest (as too does Marion) you join The Pernicious Anaemia Society. It will cost you £20 for a one year membership and they may well intervene with your doctor.  Make a list of all your symptoms, latest blood test results and medications and present that to them.

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